Chestnut Soup (inspired by Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner)

Serves 4

It was a cold winter night when, in true New York restaurant fashion, we were asked to wait just a bit longer for our table to clear. We waited for what seemed like a very long time, but I didn’t really mind once the waiter decided to make up for the delay by feeding lovely little glasses filled with one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted: chestnut soup. Shortly thereafter, I found the full recipe in the New York Magazine and have adapted it here for ease, speediness, and health. This is a slimmed-down version of Kurt’s real thing, and as such also better suited for a family meal, instead of the dinner party setting it was intended for.

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound pre-cooked chestnuts (whole or pureed, e.g. Trader Joe’s brand or Minerve)
1 medium-sized celeriac, peeled
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-set pot and add the chopped celeriac and cook gently for 5 minutes without browning.
Add the chestnuts and season with salt and pepper.
Pour in the chicken stock, add the porcini mushrooms and cook slowly for 15 minutes.
Add the cream (or milk) and cook for 5 minutes.
Carefully puree the soup with a hand-held mixer or in the blender.
Serve warm.


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